Joseph Sale is a writer, editor, content-creator and writing coach. I first came to know him when he submitted a wonderful short story, “The Heaviness of All Things” to Idle Ink in 2018, and since then I’ve followed his work (and there’s a lot of it). In addition to working with The Writing Collective and STORGY Magazine, he’s written a slew of novels and offers his services as a writing coach and editor. He is, in short, many things all at once.
Back in 2009, season one of a late-night reality show called RuPaul’s Drag Race first aired on cable television. It presented a familiar talent show format: each week, a group of drag queens competed in a zany challenge and the weakest amongst them faced off in a shared lip sync performance, which ended with one of them being instructed to sashay away from the competition. Ultimately, the final queen standing was crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar.
It was a fun show. The footage was fuzzy, the runway was rickety, and it was all a bit tongue-in-cheek, a send-up of its more serious contemporaries such as America’s Next Top Model and American Idol.
An inspirational English teacher will stay with you forever, infuse your mind mind with a love of language and literature, and an appreciation of the beauty of the language. I met Phil Riley when I was in my second year at Grammar School, and he almost put me off the subject for life. He spent the first lesson talking about himself, and how wonderful we would find his class if we were refined enough to appreciate it.
Ah, no, that’s unfair, Jason. He was a decent man trying to explain his expectations. He would have preferred, I’m sure, to have been extolling the delights of Wordsworth: it’s just gobshites like you that made the talk necessary.
The great frustration began on May 19th, 2020, at 5.24 in the morning – Greenwich Mean Time.
Here in Britain, few noticed the change. Most were asleep and those few that experienced it chalked the matter up to other factors: tiredness, alcohol, sleep deprivation, and so on.
However the world over, people were experiencing the same phenomenon. Slowly but surely the reports began to snowball. Hashtags trended on twitter. Incredulous news sites took up the wild claims behind a veil of cynicism.
FOREST CLEARING – AFTERNOON
FOX (AS CUNNING AS YOU EXPECT A CORNERED FOX TO BE):
I could tell, when the smell of burnt gunpowder infected these woods this morning, that you’d be coming for me. I tried to ignore it, hopeful that you outgrew fox huntin’, but when your mutt there caught up with me…I knew you’d be starvin’ her just for this weekend thrill.
A forceful jolt awakes me. In the moment before sleep pulls me into its embrace. I twitch.
The unexpected sound of the doorbell makes her jump. She was falling into the muddled sleep of those who haven’t rested in a while.
Her hand was laying lightly on the baby’s stomach, and the satisfied, deep breathing of the little girl had made up for the odd angle it was at, her wrist resting on the edge of the Moses basket.
Inspector Yao pushed his glasses back to the top of his nose, adjusted his suit jacket, blinked and looked again. He could have sworn he saw a girl standing beneath the archway, but it was two o’clock, and the students would not be permitted to leave for another hour and a half at least.
She certainly wasn’t there now.